Life sentence for shooting at deputy

Cooks Cooks A 31-year- old Hearne man, accused of firing point-blank at Milam County Chief Deputy Chris White during a 2009 encounter, was given a life sentence last Wednesday by a 20th District Court Jury.

Prosecutor Kerry Spears said Jejuan Shauntel Cooks was found guilty of aggravated assault of a public servant with a deadly weapon after “less than 30 minutes” of deliberation.

She said the punishment pha se of t he trial followed. “The jury heard evidence of his prior convictions for burglar y and aggravated assault and an incident in which crack cocaine and marijuana were found in his vehicle,” Spears said.

She said the jury deliberated less than an hour before returning with a verdict of life in prison.

“They were charged with giving him a sentence in the range of 15 years to life,” she said.

CHA SE—According to the Milam County Sheriff’s Department, on Dec. 20, 2009, during a time of increased patrols in connection with the Twilight Rapist case, White pulled over a Mercedes for speeding on FM 485.

White said the driver cursed him then took off with chase speeds reaching more than 100 miles per hour.

White’s report states the driver jumped from his vehicle at County Road 260, after an 18-mile chase, and f led across a field, falling in a ditch.

Spears told the jury that White stood over the subject with a drawn Taser, ordering him to show his hands.

“Cooks then fired a .9 mm handgun twice at White at pointblank range,” she said. “He then continued to flee on foot after the gun jammed.”

White also fired but no one was hit, according to the report. The deputy then made the arrest when the subject fell again.

TRIAL—White testified at the trial as did Investigator Jay Beathard of the Milam County Sheriff’s Department who conducted the investigation.

Spears said the defendant’s former girlfriend also took the stand.

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2011-05-05 digital edition

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